The in vitro activity of 1-oxa-beta-lactam (LY127935), cefoperazone (T-1551), cefuroxime, cefsulodin, cefaclor, cefotaxime, and cefoxitin on 85 anaerobic clinical isolates (30 Bacteroides, 30 Clostridium, 25 Peptococcaceae) was simultaneously determined by the agar dilution test in two different media, Brucella Agar (Difco Laboratories) and Wilkins-Chalgren agar. In Wilkins-Chalgren agar, 90% of Bacteroides were inhibited by (micrograms per milliliter): LY127935, 0.5; T-1551, 64; cefoxitin or cefuroxime, 8; cefsulodin or cefotaxime, 32; and cefaclor, 128. All Clostridia were inhibited in Wilkins-Chalgren by (micrograms per milliliter): LY127935, 4; T-1551, 2; cefoxitin, 6; cefuroxime, 0.12; cefsulodin, 0.5; cefaclor, 1; and cefotaxime, 8. All Peptococccaceae were inhibited by T-1551, cefsulodin or cefotaxime at 4 microgram/ml and by cefoxitin or cefuroxime at 1 to 2 microgram/ml. With cefaclor at 8 microgram/ml, 92% of strains were inhibited, and LY127935 at 16 microgram/ml only inhibited 64% of strains. LY127935 was the most active of the antibiotics tested against Bacteroides, showing good activity against Clostridia and poor activity on Peptococcaceae, whereas T-1551 was more active against Peptococccaceae and had similar activity against Clostridia and poor activity on Bacteroides. There are no significant differences between minimal inhibitory concentrations obtained in Brucella Agar and those obtained in Wilkins-Chalgren.